On Sunday we began our new series examining the miracles of Jesus Christ. We started this week by looking at Jesus’ healing of the leper in Matthew 8.1-4. Jesus’ miracles were not just random acts of kindness, or impressive acts meant to shock the crowds. Jesus’ miracles were signs that were meant to teach us about the King, Jesus Christ, and His Kingdom. The miracles point us to Jesus. As we looked at Jesus’ healing of the leper we learned three key truths about Jesus and His work.
1. Jesus Receives the Unclean. Leprosy in the Bible was not just a horrible physical disease, but also made a person “unclean.” They were kept outside of the social and religious institutions of the day. In the Bible leprosy is often a picture of man’s sinfulness, even in the Old Testament (Hag. 2.11-14; Is. 1.6). As people, we are not just sinful because of the sins we do, but we are sinners by nature. We are unclean as well. Yet, we see that Jesus received this unclean man. He allowed this man to approach him. Jesus came to save sinners.
2. Jesus Touches the Unclean. Prophets had healed lepers before in the Old Testament, but nobody incorporated touching the lepers. In the Old Testament Law touching a leper invited unclean status upon oneself as well. Yet, Jesus reached out and touched this man. Jesus was not made unclean, but rather cleansed the leper. Jesus heals our uncleanness, not by standing apart from us, but by entering into our sinful world, taking our sins upon Himself, and dying for us. Jesus touches the unclean.
3. Jesus is Able and Willing to Heal the Unclean. When the leper came to Jesus he was confident that the Lord was able to heal him, but he wasn’t sure if Jesus was willing. Jesus told the man He was willing to heal him. Jesus is not only able to save, but willing to save. Nobody who comes to Jesus in genuine faith ever needs to worry that Jesus is not willing to save His people. Sometimes, however, we know that Jesus is willing and able to save, but we struggle with liking this fact. Do we really want Jesus to save our enemies? Are we sometimes like Jonah in the Old Testament who knew God was able and willing to save Nineveh, but was upset by this truth?
Jesus’ healing of the leper confronts us with a gracious, loving, powerful, and willing Savior. Praise be to God!
Here is the order of service from Sunday and some discussion questions: Matt. 8.1-4 Notes.
-Pastor Nathan Hogan